Definition, Model & Purpose of Political Communication

The Purpose of Political Communication – Political communication is communication that involves political messages and political actors or those related to power, government and also government policies. So political communication is not something new, but we can also understand political communication as a communication between the government and society. The following is the definition of political communication from several figures:

  • Gabriel Almond also argues that political communication is a function that always exists in every political system.
  • Subakti argues that political communication is the process of conveying information about politics from the government to the public and from the community to the government.
  • Cangara argues that political communication is a field or discipline that examines the behavior and communication activities that are political in nature have political consequences or influence on political behavior.
  • According to Nimmo, political communication is a communication activity that is considered political communication based on its consequences (actual or potential) that govern human behavior in conditions of conflict.
  • Meanwhile, McNair argues that political communication is not only communication from political actors to voters with the intention of achieving certain goals, but also communication addressed to politicians by voters and newspaper columnists, as well as communication about political actors and their activities. as found in news, editorials, and other forms of media political discussion.



Elements of Political Communication

Political communication also consists of various elements, namely:

1. Political Communicator

Political communicators are for those who can provide information about meaningful things about politics. For example the President, Ministers, members of the DPR, politicians and pressure groups in society that can influence the running of a government.

2. Political Messages

Political messages are statements that are conveyed, both in writing and in writing, both verbally and non-verbally, hidden or openly, both consciously and unconsciously which contain politics. For example, such as political speeches, political statements, books, brochures and newspaper news about politics and others.

3. Political Channels or Media

Channels or political media is a tool or a means that can be used by communicators in conveying political messages. For example, print media, electronic media, online media, outreach, group communication by parties, community organizations, and so on.

4. Political means or targets

Means are members of the public who can provide support in the form of voting to parties or candidates in general elections. Such as businessmen, civil servants, workers, youth, women, students and the like.

5. Influence or Effect of Political Communication

The expected effect of political communication is to create an understanding of the system of government and political parties, the activeness of society in political participation, which will later have an impact on voting in general elections.

Political Communication Approach

There are several approaches to political communication, namely:

1. Process approach

This approach is that everything in the world is a result or a process. Spengler argued that the key to history is the law of societies and civilizations which also arise and fall in recurring cycles.

Arnold Joseph Toynbee who is a British historian argues that social reality is a cycle that has repeating patterns for the rise and fall of civilization. This approach can be used to understand political socialization and public policy.

2. Agenda Setting Approach

This second approach was developed by Maxell C. McCombs who is a newspaper research professor and also the director of the communications research center at the University of Syracuse USA, and Donald L. Shaw, who is a professor of journalism from the University of North Carolina.

The agenda setting approach begins with the assumption that the mass media screens the news, articles or writings that will be broadcast. This selection is made by those who are known as gatekeepers, namely they are journalists, chief editors, and image editors. It is from this gatekeeper that determines what news should be loaded and what should be hidden.



Political Communication Models

The following is an explanation of the models of political communication, namely:

1. Aristotle’s Model Edit

Aristotle’s model is the most classic model in the field of communication science. Aristotle lived at a time when rhetorical communication was highly developed in Greece. The development of people’s skills in making defense speeches before courts and public meetings attended by the people.

This model is oriented towards speech, especially speech to influence others. So that a model like this can also be called a rhetorical model or a rhetorical model which is now known as public communication. This communication model also has three basic parts of communication, namely the speaker , the message , and the listener .

The communication process also occurs when the speaker conveys his message to the audience with the aim of changing their behavior. For Aristotle, the essence of communication is perception and also the influence that can be achieved by someone who is trusted by the public.

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According to Aristotle, persuasion can be achieved for who you are or your ethos-beliefs, your arguments or logos-logic in arguing, and also by playing on audience emotions or audience pathos. In other words, the factors that determine the persuasive effect of a speech include the content of the speech, its structure, and the method of delivery.

Aristotle also realized that the role of the audience is listeners. Persuasion proceeds through audiences when they are led by speech into an emotional state. However, the first weakness of this model is that communication is regarded as a static phenomenon, focused on purposeful or intentional communication that occurs when a person persuades others to accept his opinion.

This model also does not take into account non-verbal communication in influencing others. Nevertheless, this model inspired scientists to develop modern communication models. For example in Indonesia, when the success team from the presidential and vice presidential candidates campaigned for the candidates and their vision and mission as leaders to the people. All of that is a form of rhetoric in the world of politics.

2. Model Harold Lasswell Hunting

This communication model is in the form of verbal expressions. Lasswell put forward three functions of communication, namely:

  • Environmental monitoring
  • Correlation of the various separate parts of society that respond to the environment
  • Transmission of social heritage from one generation to the next.

According to Lasswell three groups of specialists are responsible for carrying out these functions. For example, political leaders and diplomats belong to environmental watchdog groups. Lasswell also views that a communication process always has an effect or influence. Thus, Lasswell’s model stimulates communication research in the field of political communication. This model also shows that the communicator must have a desire to influence the recipient.

Thus, communication is seen as an effort of persuasion. Efforts to convey the message will produce results either positive or negative. According to Lasswell, things like this are only determined by the form and method of delivery. Not all communication is two-way, with a smooth flow and feedback occurring between sender and receiver.

In society, a lot of information is filtered by message controllers, who receive information and convey it to the public with some changes or deviations. An important function of communication is to provide information about other powerful countries in the world.

It is important for a society to discover and control the factors that interfere with efficient communication. The weakness of this Lasswell model is that it does not describe elements of feedback or feedback so that the communication process described is linear or unidirectional.

3. Model Gudykunst as well as Kim Edit

This model is basically a model of intercultural communication, namely communication between people who come from different cultures or communication with foreigners. Although basically this model also applies to everyone, because basically no two people have the same cultural, sociocultural and psychocultural background.

The assumption of this model is that two people are parallel in communicating, each of them acting as a sender as well as a receiver or both as encoding and decoding. Therefore we can see that a message from one person is a feedback for another.

These factors are filters that limit the predictions we make about how others might respond to our communication behavior, thereby influencing how we encode messages. Filters like these limit what stimuli we will pay attention to and how we notice and how we interpret those stimuli.

Cultural factors explain similarities as well as differences in culture, religion, language, individualism, collectivity, which affect values ​​and norms in communication. Socio-cultural influences concern the process of social arrangement, namely membership in groups, self-concept, roles and definitions of interpersonal relationships. Psychocultural factors concern about personal arrangements such as stereotypes and attitudes towards other groups of people.

The environment influences, in terms of geographical location, climate, situation, architecture, and also our perception of the environment. Influences from culture, socio-culture, and psycho-culture function as conceptual filters to convey and encode messages. Cultural influences in this model include factors that explain cultural similarities and differences, for example world views (religion), language, attitudes towards humans and others.

These factors affect the values, norms, and rules in our communication behavior. One element that completes Gudykunst and Kim’s model is the environment. The environment influences us in decoding messages. Therefore, between two communicators may have different perceptions and orientations towards the environment, they may interpret behavior in different ways in the same situation.

4. The Interactional Model

This model has a qualitative, non-systemic and nonlinear character. Communication is described as the formation of meaning or interpretation of messages or other people’s behavior by the participants of the communication. Some of the important concepts used are self , other self , and action.

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According to the symbolic interaction model, people as communication participants are active, reflective and creative, and also display behavior that is difficult to predict. This understanding rejects the idea that individuals are passive organisms, in this context Blumer put forward three premises which form the basis of the Interactional model.

  • Humans act regarding the meaning that individuals give to their social environment.
  • Meaning is directly related to social interaction between individuals and their social environment.
  • Meaning is created, maintained, and changed through the process of interpretation carried out by individuals in dealing with their social environment. The interactional model assumes that humans are much more active in the communication process. The important concepts used are self, other self, symbol, meaning, interpretation, and action.

The interactional model of people who develop their human potential through social interaction, through taking on the roles of others. The self develops through interaction with other people, family, the game stage to the wider environment in a stage called the game stage.

Where individuals always see themselves through perspective (other people’s roles), so that self-concept grows based on how other people see the individual’s self. The Interactional Model places communicators in an equal position with other communicators so that democratic interplay occurs in the giving and receiving quadrant of communication. Communicators are usually not reluctant to meet many people, hear and build cooperation with various parties, including people or political forces who have been at odds with them.

5. Agenda Setting Edit

This agenda setting was introduced by McCombs and DL Shaw in 1972. The assumption of this theory is that if the media puts pressure on an event, then the media will influence the audience to consider it important. So, what is considered important by the media, is also important for society.

In this case the media is assumed to have a very strong effect, especially because this assumption is related to the learning process and not to changes in attitudes and opinions. The mass media has a very strong effect, especially because it is related to the learning process and not to changing attitudes and opinions. Agenda setting theory assumes that people will learn what issues are, and how these issues are structured based on their level of importance.

According to McCombs and Donald Shaw, the audience does not only learn news and other things through the mass media, but also learns the importance given to an issue from the way the mass media emphasizes the topic.

For example, the mass media seems to determine which topics are important in reflecting what the candidates say in an election campaign. This means that the mass media sets the “agenda” of the campaign and its ability to influence individual cognition. If prospective voters consider an issue important, they will choose the party candidate who is most competent in dealing with that issue. And according to Funkhouser, the news media is believed by many to be a reliable source of information, but news media is not necessarily so.

The Edit Political Communication process is the same as the communication process in general, namely face-to-face communication and media communication with channels and components. The following are the lines in political communication edit, namely:

  • Communicator or message sender
  • Encoding-the process of compiling ideas into symbols or messages
  • Messages
  • Media-channel
  • Decoding-the process of solving or translating symbols
  • Communicator or Message Recipients
  • Feedback-feedback, response



Political Communication Purposes

The following are the objectives of political communication, namely:

1. Raise the impact of the process of political communication

one of the goals of political communication is to bring up the effect or impact of the process of political communication carried out by the communicator on the communicator. The effect or impact is expected to be in accordance with what the communicator wants.

2. Influence audiences

Political communication is a verbal or nonverbal communication activity that has political content, in the form of influencing or providing a stimulus to others to carry out political activities.

As explained in the 2009 Government Communication and Policy Effectiveness by Eri Hariyanto’s work, some experts describe three objectives of political communication, such as:

a. Building a political image

Political communication is often aimed at building a good or positive image in front of the public. The image is built based on information received by the public through the political and mass media.

b. Forming and fostering public opinion

In political communication, the formation of public opinion is one important dimension that deserves attention. This formation can be done through the help of political media, especially the mass media.

c. Encourage political participation

Political participation is meant for the public to participate in political activities. For example, the public uses their voting rights in the ELECTIONS that are being held.

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